(Hypebot) – As the importance of streaming revenue has increased, so has the criticism of YouTube, Once content to stay above the fray, Google's video behemoth is fighting back against those who contend that it pays too little and cannibalizes users from other services that pay out more.
Admitting there is a "lively debate about whether YouTube is bad or good for the music industry," Google's YouTube has financed a study by RBB Economics to prove its worth.
The first results, published yesterday, look at the issue of cannibalization. Does the fact that people listen to music on YouTube mean that they don’t use other sources of music that better reward creators and rightsholders?
Their study finds that, instead of cannibalizing higher paying services it reduces piracy. 85% of time spent on YouTube would move to lower value channels, concluded the survey, and result in a significant increase in piracy.
The researchers find that significant cannibalisation by YouTube of other legitimate music channels is unlikely, for a few reasons:
The cumulative effect of these findings, says YouTube, is that it has a market expanding effect, not a cannibalising one. In coming weeks, YouTube and RBB will release further papers on other aspects of the digital music world and YouTube’s role in it. NOTE: The study surveyed 6,000 users across Germany, France, Italy and the U.K.